The slopes of Syrmian vineyards that fall towards Danube create the most beautiful landscape scenery, which combined with rich gastro offer call for a break and relaxation. This beautiful vineyard is situated in the most eastern part of the Vukovar-Srijem County and Croatia, on southern and south-west slopes of Fruška gora, with the center in Ilok, so people often refer to it as Ilok vineyard. Thanks to many sunny hours, the hills on elevation from 200 to 250 m and on drained soil on loess that does not hold moisture, the wine gives grapes of high quality, as basic condition for production of top quality vines, that go from Ilok into Croatia, Europe and to the rest of the world.
From the first grapevines that were planted by the Romans in the 3 century, the Syrmian vineyard kept spreading and today it spreads on the area of almost 1500 ha. Even though its most spread sort is Graševina that gives vine light in body and alcohol, but fresh in taste with pleasant acids and fresh fruit scents – the wine that made this vineyard worldwide famous is Traminac. In this climate and in this position Traminac offers its maximum and is leading in its quality in Croatia and wider. It gives wine of straw-yellow to golden-yellow color, very expressed sort aroma and bouquet, and distinctive fullness. The aroma of rose and complex dried fruit scents with honey notes are revealed in the scent. From dry to sweet versions it excellently accompanies different dishes and desserts.
Along with two most significant white sorts in Syrmian vineyard people also cultivate Chardonnay, Rhein Riesling, Pinot Bianco, Pinot Gris, Silvaner... Even though red sorts are not so widespread, people also cultivate Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and the most important, Frankovka, for which it is believed to have its origin in Syrmia, Slavonia and Lower Austria. It is a typical continental red sort of light character with a pleasant scent of blackberry, prune or plum jam, and when it is young even of cherry. Recently more and more versions of dry wines, with pleasant fruit freshness in scent and taste have been produced, and if they are properly cooled they are ideal summer refreshment.
The uninterrupted tradition of amazing 1800 years of wine growing in Ilok goes back to the time of the old Rome. The Roman emperor Probus introduced new quality sorts to this region in the 3rd century, and even the Turks, despite their religious ban for alcohol consummation, have traded in Ilok wine. The patrician family Odescalchi offered first bottled wines from their wine cellar in Europe in the 17th century, and they were also well-known at the English Court. The fact that Ilok Traminac was drunk sixty years ago at the crowning of the Queen Elisabeth II shows how much the British appreciate the wine of this region.
Many gold medals for quality Ilok Traminac has won in recent years in most respected wine assessments in London, Paris, Verona, Madrid, Budapest, Brussels, Mundus Vini in Germany, and outside Europe in assessments in California, Israel, Canada prove the quality of this sort.
What to see and experience
Numerous wine cellars and vineyards make the “Ilok wine route” that passes through streets of places and ends in picturesque vineyards of belvedere Vukovo and Principovac. You can start the sightseeing in Old Cellars, the biggest attraction in the center of Ilok and find out why the old Romans used to call this town „Delight of the world“ or „Delicium mundi“. You can enjoy Syrmian wine delights and taste wines from Vukovar vintners.